Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    May 16, 2013
    100
    Morally cunning and with a tone as black as pitch, Pieta, the 18th film from the South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, is a deeply unnerving revenge movie in which redemption is dangled like a cat toy before a cougar.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Apr 12, 2013
    91
    Kim's movies are generally grim, disturbing affairs, but "Pieta" leaves much to the imagination in favor of its unsettling implications.
  3. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    May 16, 2013
    88
    Pieta is one of Kim’s most complex and mature efforts, melding violence and humor into dark entertainment.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    May 16, 2013
    85
    The film takes a long road to spirituality, though, with plenty of stops for violence and perversion along the way. Like Abel Ferrara's "Bad Lieutenant," this story is determined to put core Christian principles to the harshest tests imaginable.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    May 17, 2013
    80
    Pieta, which won last year's Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is disturbing, for sure, but its larger points save it from being a quick and dirty wallow.
  6. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    May 16, 2013
    80
    Even if its stunted ambitions come as a disappointment, Pieta nevertheless is an expertly crafted thriller and a fine addition to East Asian revenge cinema.
  7. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Apr 12, 2013
    80
    The final reel packs a genuine emotional wallop, even as it makes auds laugh with the vicious precision of its dramatic irony.
  8. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Apr 12, 2013
    80
    Kim Ki-duk is back in fighting form in Pieta, an intense and, for the first hour, sickeningly violent film that unexpectedly segues into a moving psychological study.
  9. Reviewed by: William Goss
    May 17, 2013
    77
    Not as touching or boldly transgressive as its ultra-violent peers.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Stamets
    May 16, 2013
    75
    Kim deals with an ancient suspicion of money that predates Marx, MasterCard and Madoff.
  11. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 15, 2013
    67
    The performances of these two leads are compelling and the Cheonggyecheon area can almost be seen as another character in Kim’s morality tale. And even if forgiveness is not always possible in the human condition, Pieta allows that expiation of one’s sins is within the realm of the possible.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jul 12, 2013
    60
    It's not a film for everyone. Those who see it, however, will have trouble forgetting it.
  13. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 14, 2013
    60
    After establishing a central parent-child relationship rife with wacko biblical undertones, the director finds nowhere to take his story except into standard vengeance territory.
  14. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 14, 2013
    60
    Stick with the film, though, and you might find yourself strangely moved by its oddball mix of ripe melodrama, overwrought violence and regional verisimilitude.
  15. Reviewed by: Oliver Lyttelton
    Apr 12, 2013
    58
    The film contains some memorable moments, and a pair of fine performances, but it’s hard not to feel that it would have proved more successful if it had stayed on the path it was heading down for the first forty minutes or so.
  16. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    May 15, 2013
    50
    Too bad both actors are stuck in a hollow provocation. Pietà may be all about the burden of debt—financial, spiritual, or otherwise — but it’s the audience that really pays a price.
  17. Reviewed by: John Semley
    May 14, 2013
    12
    Kim Ki-duk's film makes an exaggerated, undeserved show of its cruelty, indignity, and aspirations of importance.

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